When the mainstream media was busy talking about the sharp decline in the price of crypto currencies earlier this week, the Singaporeans showed their smartness by purchasing as much crypto they could from the Bitcoin ATM machines. Much of the decline was caused due to the measures taken by the South Korean and Chinese authorities to clamp down crypto currency trading. However, traders who knew that it is not easy to successfully implement a total ban on crypto currency trading used the decline to increase their crypto holdings.
A Singapore café manager operating a Bitcoin ATM said “We had to put an ‘out of service’ sign at our machine. Over the past two days, we’ve had 20 to 30 people line up, from about 10 on a usual day.”
Founder of Bitcoin Exchange, Zann Kwan opined that the demand for the crypto currency was much higher in December, when Bitcoin made record highs. Now, sellers are waiting for better prices, while buyers are looking for a crash to buy some more. The 30% to 40% decline in the price of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies happened due to two reasons. Firstly, experienced traders and speculators used the news to go short and make quick money. Secondly, new investors, who were driven by negative publicity created by various channels, sold their holdings for a loss. However, the Singaporeans did not fall prey and used the opportunity to accumulate or enter the crypto band wagon at bargain prices.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has made its stance clear on crypto currencies. They have no intention to ban digital assets, but will regulate to avoid misuse by anti-social elements. The government has provided a statement in this regard:
MAS regulates the activities that surround virtual currencies if those activities fall within our scope as a financial regulator. The risks surrounding virtual currency exchanges include those related to money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF). Virtual currency transactions, given their anonymous nature, are particularly vulnerable to abuse for ML/TF. MAS will therefore introduce anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism requirements on virtual currency intermediaries that deal in or facilitate the exchange of virtual currencies for real currencies. The regulations will extend to the exchange of virtual currency for fiat currency, or another virtual currency.
South Korea’s Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon has announced that a final decision on crypto currencies will be taken only after discussing the matter in the national assembly.